Updated: 02/09/03

Battlelore take the imagery of Tolkien and come up with an unforgettable musical adventure in sound. Signed to Napalm Records, the band is on the verge of releasing their second masterwork of material. Their first effort is entitled Where The Shadows Lie and it’s well worth seeking out. And now, a little about the mystical adventures of Battlelore…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Battlelore and how long the band has been together.

My name is Jyri Vahvanen and I'm the "leader" of Battlelore. I write all the lyrics and most of the songs and I play rhythm guitar in Battlelore's line up. We've been together about four years for now.

Where is the band from and what is the metal scene like there?

We are from Finland and the metal scene is really rising in here. We have a plenty of great bands what have made a huge success in a middle-Europe and in Japan. It looks like that today's Finnish bands are really hot stuff in Europe.

How influenced are your lyrics by the works of Tolkien and other fantasy literature?

Actually 99% of our lyrics are about Tolkien's world. For me, Middle-earth and its history is the one and only fantasy world what really affects me. Of course there are a lot of great writers like Eddings, Salvatore, Holdstock, Hickman & Weis etc. but Mr. Tolkien's work is the most important to me and I just love to write songs about it.

What did you think of the two Lord Of The Rings movies?

Mr. Peter Jackson [did an] amazing job with those movies. I really liked the both of them and I believe that the third one won't disappoint my expectations. Many Tolkien fans have been very angry and disappointed for those movies but my opinion is that the book and the movie are two different things and you just have to keep it that way. No one can ever reach that same atmosphere on the screen that you can get when you read the book.

In the Tolkien books, who is your favorite character and why?

In the movie I just loved Legolas. He is so skillful and superior character but in the book my favorite is Tom Bombadil and it's a pity that they didn't show him in the movie. His character is so charismatic and pure. Many could think that "look at that funny old man" but behind his outlook he is one of the most powerful characters in Middle-Earth. After all he is one of the demigods like Sauron, Gandalf or Saruman.

How did you wind up being signed to Napalm Records?

We made two promos and the first one failed but with that second promo we got a few deals around the world and Napalm's offering was the best and they also have some other Tolkien-influenced bands like Summoning. It was a really natural choice for us and so far we have been very satisfied in Napalm's work with us.

With so many people involved in the band, does setting up rehearsals end up being somewhat of a nightmare?

Yes, sometimes it's really hard to make things work out but you just have to improvise and trust your band mates and in their skills. It might be hard for a while but everything has gone very well so far.

Has Battlelore ever played live, and if so, what are the shows like? Any chance of playing here in the States?

We have played a few gigs in Finland and the songs are much more aggressive in our live shows than in our CD. Many people who do not like to listen to our records have come to me after the gig and really praised it. We have our elf and troll outfits in our shows and if the stage is big enough there's also some banners and torches and Patrik (our male vocalist) usually has a sword or axe on stage that he waves in the air. Really good-looking show. We would love to play in the States but someone had to organize a tour for us. Send me the plane tickets and we will come right away. As usually, it is all about the money and the booking agency.

How close are you to recording a new album, and will it also be based on the works of Tolkien?

I believe that our second album [will be] recorded when this interview comes out. It's fully based in Tolkien's work and the overall theme in that album is going to be much more majestic and high fantasy than on our first album.

With so many metal bands out there, what do you think has made Battlelore stand apart from the others?

Many bands write about Tolkien but they also have some other stuff on their albums. We play 100% pure fantasy metal without blue jeans and Iron Maiden (no offence, it's a great band) shirts. We have our own style and outfits in our live shows and we won't let our fans down. Tolkien's works is the ground of Battlelore and we will do this for the true fantasy fans and for the people who respects Mr. Tolkien's amazing writings.

What was your favorite CD of 2002 and why?

A Finnish band called Kotiteollisuus and their album Kuolleen Kukan Nimi (The Name Of The Dead Flower) it's the greatest Finnish hard rock/metal band ever and on stage they are a really aggressive and energetic group.

If Britney Spears asked you to leave Battlelore and play on a world tour with her band, what would you do?

Thanks, but no thanks. Battlelore is my way of life and I'm not interested about big money. I play fantasy metal from my heart and that's it.

Who does the fantastic artwork on the CD and how much creative input do you have with the final artwork?

The cover paintings are Ted Nasmith's illustrations and he is one of the most famous Tolkien artists in the world. The other artwork is usually made by some of our talented friends who have the skills for it and we are very strict about the final result. Usually we try to supervise everything that is linked to our music or image.

What are the future plans for Battlelore?

Gigs here in Finland and perhaps some European touring. Our second album comes out next spring and I really look forward the feedback from it.

Do you have any messages for metal fans in the States who may want to check your music out?

If you are into fantasy or you love Tolkien's work or those new LotR movies, go to the nearest record store and get our debut album Where The Shadows Lie and I'll guarantee that you won't be disappointed. Also check out our website

If the world were suddenly to come to an end, what song would you want to hear before the final explosion?

Band: Kyuss, Song: Demon Cleaner. Absolutely great stoner rock!


BATTLELORE: The Official Homepage for Battlelore!
NAPALM RECORDS: The Record Label for Battlelore!
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